xt7bvq2s7d7g https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7bvq2s7d7g/data/mets.xml Lamar County, Mississippi Mississippi Historical Records Survey 1939 Prepared by The Historical Records Survey, Division of Professional and Service Projects, Work Projects Administration; Other contributors include: United States Works Progress Administration, Division of Professional and Service Projects; vi, 329 leaves: illustrated, map, 28 cm; Includes bibliographical references and index; UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program libraries; Call number FW 4.14:M 69i/no.37 books English Jackson, Mississippi: The Survey This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. Mississippi Works Progress Administration Publications Inventory of the County Archives of Mississippi, No. 37 Lamar County (Purvis) text Inventory of the County Archives of Mississippi, No. 37 Lamar County (Purvis) 1939 2015 true xt7bvq2s7d7g section xt7bvq2s7d7g I I   ·
I   E F `   PIII   I I.   I
S   Inventory oi the County Archives   I  
  I oi Mississippi  
I ;
- I NO. 37. LAMAR COUNTY (Purvis) Q
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i Prepared by  
I   The Historical Records Survey ‘
A   Division of Professional and Service Projects
‘   Works Progress Administration
  Jackson, Mississippi Q


Prepared by
The Historical Records Survey
Division of Professional and Service Projects
Work Projects Administration
No. sv. LAMAR coumr (PURVIS)
Jackson, Mississippi
The Historical Records Survey
July 1959

 The Historical Records Survey . _ {
Luther H. Evans, Director bi
John C. L. Andreassen, Regional Supervisor WC
Percy L. Rainwater, State Director Tk
. · ‘ Pi
· ir
A f
Division of Professional and Service Projects hi
Florence Kerr, Assistant Commissioner ct
Leo G. Spefford, Chief Regional Supervisor hi
Ethel Payne, State Director bi
‘ hz
F. C. Harrington, Cem issicner 2
George H. Field, Regional Director
R. M. Porter; Acting State Administrator
» o

The_lnventery_of_the_Qpunty Archives_of Mississippi is one of a number of
bibliographies of historical materials prepared throughout the United States by
workers on The Historical Records Survey of the Works Progress Administration.
The publication herewith presented, an inventory of the archives of Lamar County,
is number 57 of the Mississippi series.
The Historical Records Survey was undertaken in the winter of 1955-56 for
the purpose of providing useful employment to needy unemployed historians, law-
yers, teachers, and research and clerical workers. In carrying out this objeci
tive, the project was organized to compile inventories of historical materials,
particularly the unpublished government documents and records which are basic
in the administration of local government, and which provide invaluable data
for students of political, economic, and social history. The archival guide
herewith presented is intended to meet the requirements of day-to—day adminis-
tration by the officials of the county, and also the needs of lawyers, business
mon and other citizens who require facts from the public records for the proper
conduct of their affairs. The volume is so designed that it can be used by the
historian in his research in unprinted sources in the same way he uses the li-
brary card catalog for printed sources.
The inventories produced by The Historical Records Survey attempt to do
more than give merely a list of records - they attempt further to sketch in the
historical background of the county or other unit of government, and to describe
precisely and in detail the organization and functions of the government agencies
whose records they list. The county, town, and other local inventories for the
entire country will, when completed, constitute an encyclopedia for local govern-
ment as well as a bibliography of local archives.
The successful conclusion of the work of The Historical Records Survey,
even in a single county, would not be possible without the support of public
officials, the historical and legal specialists, and many other groups in the
community. Their cooperation is gratefully acknowledged.
The Survey was organized and has been directed by Luther H. Evans, and
operates as a nation-wide project in the Division of Professional and Service
Projects, of which Mrs. Florence Kerr, Assistant Commissioner, is in charge.
F. C. Harrington
Com issioner

l 'Werk on The Historical Records Survey began in Mississippi in February
1956 as a part of the program of the Federal Writers’ Projects. In November
1936 the Mississippi Survey became a separate unit of Federal Project Ne. l and
in July 1957 Charles C. Fisher, editor-in-chief, was made state director. On
July 18, 1958 Dr. Percy L. Rainwater, for ll years in the department of history
at the University of Mississippi, was appointed state director.
To attain its general objective the Survey in Mississippi has examined,
. thoroughly and carefully, records kept by state, county, and municipal govern-
ments. In addition, preliminary lists of historical manuscripts, maps, and
» early imprints in private and unofficial collections have been prepared. Much
has been accomplished in locating and inventorying the records of all churches
in all counties. In completing this particular task the Survey will include the
records of defunct churches if it is possible to locate them.
l In Mississippi the Survey has stressed the completion of a state-wide ex-
. » amination of county records with the view to preserving them, making them more
accessible, and disclosing their intrinsic value in the development of Hissis~
sippi as a territory and a state. The Survey plans to publish the Inventory
of the County Archives of Mississippi in 82 units, one for each ceuEty—in—the
EtatET`—EEEh_unit-willlbe numbered separately from l to 82, its number depending
on the relative position of the county in an alphabetical list of all counties.
An inventory will also be published for old Washington County, established in
_ the Mississippi territory in 1800, and new a part of Alabama. The inventories
of the state archives, of manuscript collections, of church records, of early `
_ imprints, and of municipal and other local records will be published separately.
By assembling and preparing concise, detailed inventories of, and guides
A to, the archives of all counties, the Survey will make available a series of
. publications which will: display for comparison the records system of the 82
counties of the state the study of which may lead to the adoption of a simpli-
fied, standardized method of keeping records which will eliminate unnecessary ann
overlapping records: give a comprehensive medium which will familarize the
general public with history as it is shown by the records, and arouse interest
in it: and help office holders to a better understanding of the exact scope of
their office records and show them the record work of their predecessors.
Although every effort has been made to attain absolute accuracy in this
inventory, the Survey cannot assure the user that this degree of perfection has
been realized. Because of the many and varied systems of record keeping in uso,
the same records may have been given different names in different counties and
what may seem an error is in reality only an evidence of the general non—uniform-
ity existent throughout the 82 counties of the state.
The inventory is arranged so that the records of the executive branch of
county government come first, followed by recording, judicial, law enforcing,
fiscal, and miscellaneous agencies. The legal development of each office or
agency is given in a section which precedes the inventory of the records of the
office of agency.

 At first skeptical or antagonistic, county officials have come to realize
the worth of the Survey. In many counties it was necessary for Survey field
workers to sort, rearrange, and put the records in their proper places before
the actual inventorying could be started. As work progressed the need for the
complete reorganization of records in these counties became so apparent that
locally—sponsored WFA projects were organized to index, transcribe, restore,
rebind, and set in order the confused, jumbled mass of county archives. The
Survey, because of its limited quota, has not been able to complete this extra
work with its own workers. However, it assisted gladly in making all preliminary
arrangements and in preparing project proposals. It furnished technical supervi-
sion and gave its utmost cooperation to county officials in the systematizing of
their records.
The Historical Records Survey has given valuable assistance to the Missis-
sippi Department of Archives and History. Through a project initiated by the
Survey, more than 900 volumes of loose newspapers have been sorted, arranged by
date of publication and bound. Bulky old case records of the superior court of
chancery, the high court of errors and appeals, and of the supreme court have
been put in order, labelled, indexed, and made readily accessible for the first
’ time. The Survey intends to make a complete inventory of all records, books,
l ` papers, and other historical materials collected by the department since its
organization in 1902.
A project, sponsored by the secretary of state, and designed to arrange
index, and rebind the records of all offices or bureaus of state government, has
° been put into operation. This work is highly important in that it will at the
» same time determine the amount of space and equipment needed to house properly
r the surplus state records, provide a safe depository in Jackson for future col-
4 lections and records new scattered throughout the state.
The Survey of thc records of Lamar County was started June 4, 1956 and was
finished October 15, 1938. Mrs. Margaret Scott Baylcy, examining the records
X of both Marion and Lamar Counties during that time, completed the survey unaid-
~ ed by other workers. Martin L. Bartec and John W. York examined the records in
p March 1958, searching for missing and incomplete records. In September 1958,
` Mrs. Bayley made a final comparison of tho records with the preliminary draft
of the inventory.
County officials gave the Survey enthusiastic and generous cooperation.
Prominent among those who assisted The Historical Records Survey workers were:
S. Earnest Watts, chancery clerk; hhs. Ruby Black, deputy chancery clerk; Lacy
Lott, circuit clerk; Miss Alice Hyatt, deputy circuit clerk; and Z. Archie Foshoc
superintendent of education. In addition, the members of the board of supervi-
~ sors, T. Frank Thurmon, Roy Ledbetter, Wiley W} Dearman, William A. Cole, and
John R. Saucier, have all manifested a helpful interest in the work of the Survey
i4 The Survey has followed general regulations and procedure applicable to all
WPA project units in the 48 states. Mississippi WPA officials have always given
the Survey their cordial support and assistance. The Survey acknowledges also
the help accorded by Dr. William D. McCain, director of the Mississippi Depart-
ment of Archives and History, and by Mrs. Rena Humphreys Balcy, state librar-
ian, both of whom gave Survey workers access to the valuable source materials
. housed in their departments.

The inventory of the records of Lamar County was prepared in the state
office of the Survey in Jackson, Mississippi, .-.— by an editorial staff composed
of Mrs. Margaret Scott Bayley, Margaret Haaga, Mabel Van Devender, Stanley Hall,
, and Oscar Dooley, editors; Fred Beacham, editorial assistant; and Robert E.
Strong, editor-in-chief.
State Director
The Historical Records Survey
202 Millsaps Building,
Jackson, Mississippi,
July 1959.

‘ A. Lamar County and its Records System
l• Hj.S`tOTiCB.lSk€'bCh•••••••••_•••••••••• 4
Outline Map of Mississippi. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2. Governmental Organization and Records System . . . . . ll
Legal Status of the County. Structural Development
of County Government. General Administration. Reg-
istration of Title to Property. Judiciary. Law En-
forcement. Finance. Elections. Education. Public
Health. Welfare. Public Works. Miscellaneous Func-
tions. Records System.
Chart of Governmental Organization . . . . . . . . . 28
5. Housing, Care, and Accessibility of the Records . . . . 50
4. Abbreviations, Symbols, and Explanatory Notes . . . . . 39
B. County Offices and their Records
I. Board of Supervisors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4l
Proceedings. Assessments. Tax Exemptions. Six-
teenth Section School Land Administration. Reports.
Correspondence. Maps,
II. Clerk of the Chancery Court as Recorder . . . . . . . . 76
Real Property: Land Deeds; Tax Liens; Mortgages and
Deeds of Trust on Land; Tax Sales and Redemptions;
Land Titles. Personal Property: Tax Liens; Deeds,
Mortgages, and Deeds of Trust. Miscellaneous Perma-
nent Records: Bonds; Charters of Incorporation;
Marks and Brands; Homestead Exemptions; Sixteenth
Section School Land Administration; Military Dis-
charges; Maps. Unclaimed Instruments. Clerks Reg-
ister of Instruments.
III. Chancery Court . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
Original Case Papers: Chancery and Probate. Dock-
ets, Calendars, and Registers: Chancery and Probate;
Probate. Proceedings. Legal Publications. Fees and
Costs. Correspondence.
IV!     O Q I O I I O I O O U I U I I I O O O I O  
Original Case Papers: Criminal; Civil; Juvenile;
Index; Supreme Court Cases; Receipts for Documents
Withdrawn. Dockets, Calendars, and Registers: Crimi-
nal; Civil. Proceedings. Final Records. Reports.
Fees and Costs. Clerks Cash Book.
JV. Clerk of the_Circuit Court. . . . . . . . ...... . 144
Marriages. Professional Licenses. Alcohol Sales.
VI• G1°0·ndJU.T°y••••••••••••••••••••••  
Witness and Indictment Records.

 - g -
Table of Contents
VII• JU.SJCiCBSOf`bh€P€B.C€•••••••••••••••••  
Dockets: Criminal and Civil. I
`   Dj.$`bI`j.C`tZA`lZ't]OrHGy•••••••••••••••••••  
j Process Dockets. Jail Records. County Law Library.
X• COI‘Ol‘1GI‘••••••••••••••••••••••••  
XI• COHS`b&blCS••••••••••••••••••••••  
XII• TB·XASSCSSOT•••••••••••••••••••••  
Tax Lists: Real Property; Personal Property. Maps.
XIII. Sheriff as Tax Collector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . l89
Real and Personal Property Taxes: Tax Receipts.
Privilege Taxes: Licenses. Cash Books. Reports.
XIV. Clerk of the Chancery Court as Treasurer . . . . . . . 202
XV. Clerk of the Board of Supervisors as Auditor . . . . . 207
Cash Receipts: Reports; Receive Warrants; Ledger.
Disbursements: Claims; Allowances; Warrants. Led-
gers. County Bonds. Sixteenth Section School Land
Administration. Miscellaneous.
XVI. Clerk of the Circuit Court as Registrar . . . . . . . . 219
Registration of Voters: Registration Books; Disen-
franehisements. Eligibility of Voters: Poll Books;
Poll Tax Receipts. Primary Election Records: Corrupt
Practices Prevention; Election Data.
XVII. County Beard of Election Commissioners . . . . . . . . 225
l XVIII. Superintendent of Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229
Reports. Teachers. Educable Children. Financial
Administration. Receipts and Disbursements. Public
School Record. Adult Education. Correspondence.
XIX4 COU.1TbySChOO1BO$·rd••••4••••••••n••••  
XX. School Trustees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247
Agricultural High School. Transportation. CWA
Projects. WPA Project.
XXI. Department of Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258
Activities: Communicable Disease Control; Tubercu-
losis Control; Maternity Service; Infant and Pre-
School Hygiene; School Hygiene; Adult Hygiene; Lab-
oratory; Rcportable Diseases. Reports of Director.
Vital Statistics: Births; Deaths.

Table of Contents
HII• ROgj.S`bI°C.TOfvi`t£\1S`tO.`t]iSt·lCS• • • • • • • • • • J • • •  
XXIII. Pension Board of Inquiry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267
XXIV. Coroner as Ranger . . . J . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271
A ms SUTVGYOY•••••••$|•••••••••••6•o•  
XXVI. County Extension Department in Agriculture end Home
County Agent. Home Demonstration Agent.
Bibliography.................;.;. 287
List of County Officials , , , , , , , , , , ; g , , , 29l
Chronological Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . a . 298
Subject and Entry Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300

 - 4 -
(First entry, p. 70)
Lamar County, situated in south—centra1 Mississippi in the Long Leaf Pine
5 Belt, was originally a part of old washington County, established in 1800 as
‘ the third county in the Mississippi Territory.l Old Washington County embraced
1 all the land extending east from Pearl River to the Chattahoochee River, new a
portion of the eastern boundary of Alabama, and north from the 51st parallel to
the northern boundary of the Territory just above the 52nd parallel. From this
vast county, containing approximately 2,600 square miles, 18 counties in Missis-
sippi and 20 in Alabama have been formed in whole or in part.2
At the time old Washington County was organized, the land within its bound-
aries in the Mississippi Territory had not yet come into the possession of the
United States. It was owned and occupied by the Choctaw Indians who used it
chiefly as a hunting and fishing ground. The Louisiana Purchase of 18053 creat-
ed the need for a southern land route to New Orleans and to Natchez on the Missis-
sippi River. 0n November 16, 1805, the Choctaws ceded to the United States for
$55,soo an extensive tract of land lying in the southern portion of the Terri-
tory north of the 51st parallel between the Amite and Tombigbee Rivers computed
at 4,575,244 acres.4 This treaty, known in Mississippi as the First Choctaw
Cession, in addition to throwing open new lands to white settlement, made pos-
sible the westward extension of a post road from Georgia.5 It also separated
the Indians from the trouble-making Spaniards who still held West Florida.6
Wayne County was formed in 1809 from the western portion of old Washington
County, and in 1811 Marion County was organized from the western portion of
Wayne County.8 In 1888 Marion County was divided into two judicial districts,
the eastern portion of the county being made the second judicial district.9
An act of the legislature, approved February 19, 1904,10 created Lamar
County solely from the second judicial district, but was amended March 10, 1904
to include seven and one-half sections of land in northern Pearl River County.li
The boundaries of the new county were described as "that part of Marion County
comprising the second judicial district thereof, which said territory is bounded
and described by a line run as follows: Commencing at the northwest corner,
township 5, range 16 west of St. Stevcn's meridian, thence running east along
the township line to the northeast corner of township 5 north, range 15 west,
thence along the range line to the southeast corner of township 5 north, range
15 west, thence east along the township line to the northeast corner of
1. Harry Toulmin, (comp.), Statutes of the Mississippi Territory, Revised and
Digested by the Authority of the Eeneral Assembly. Natchez, Miss., l807T_
2. Thomas McAdory Owen, History of Alabama, Chicago, 1921, 4 vols., II, 158.
5. 8 Stat. L., 200-215. -1-
4. `7§'ET¤. TI., 98-100.
5. 2`Stat.`L., 558, 597.
6. Eisre¤ed'Edw1n Carter, (ed.), The Territorial Papers of the United States,
Washington, 1955--, The Tcrrit5;y of Mississippi, 1798:1817, 1957, V, zI7-
518, 454. `—* ——
7. Edward Turner, (comp.), Statutes of the Mississippi Territory, Digested by
Authority of the General Assomb1yT—NatEhcz, Miss., ISIS, 96. _——
8. nid., IosT""`_""'“"""”‘_"
9. L. M., 1888, 74-79.
10. 1biH., 1904, 145.
11. Ibid., 146-147.

- 5 -
Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 70)
township 4 north, range 14 west, thence south along the range line to a point
_ ‘ J one mile north of the 51st parallel of latitude, thence west to the line between
i ranges 15 and 16 west, thence south along the range line to the 51st parallel
of latitude, thence west along said 51st parallel to the line between ranges
16 and 17, thence along said line to the place of beginning. And that part of
Pearl River County contiguous to said above—deseribed territory, circumscribod
by a line run as follows: Beginning at the point where the line between sections
55 and 54, township 1 north, range 15 west intersects the 51st parallel of
north latitude, and running east along said 51st parallel to a point where the
- line between sections 2 and 5, township l south, range 15 west intersects said
5lst parallel, thence south along line between sections 2 and 5 to corner of
sections 2, 5, 10, and 11, township 1 south, range 15 west, thence east along
line between first and second tiers of sections south of said 51st parallel to
the corner common to sections 5, 6, 7, and 8, township 1 south, range 14 west,
thence north along line between sections 5 and 6 to said 51st parallel, thence
y east to the point where a line drawn centrally north and south through section
52, township 1 north, range 14 west, intersects said 51st parallel, thence
north one mile to the line between Pearl River and Marion Counties, thence west
_ along said line separating said counties to the point where it intersects the
line between sections 55 and 54, township 1 north, range 15 west, thence south
along section line to the point of beginning."l2 In 1954 the boundary line be-
_ · tween Lamar County and Pearl River County was correctly defined.15 At the pres-
V ont time the county is delimited on the north by Jefferson Davis and Covington
Counties, on the east by Forrest County, on the south by Pearl River County,
and on the west by Marion County.
The county was named for Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar (1825-95), Demo-
cratic member of Congress from Mississippi, 1857-60, who, although opposed to
secession, recognized its inevitability, and drafted and reported the Missis-
_ sippi ordinance of secession in 1861. He served in the Southern army until
November 1862, when he was appointed Confederate Commissioner to Russia.
After the war he was again a member of the House of Representatives from
‘ Mississippi, 1875-77, was United States Senator from Mississippi, 1877-85, and
was Secretary of the Interior in the cabinet of President Grover Cleveland,
i 1885-88. He resigned from his cabinet position to become an associate justice
_ of the Supreme Court of the United States, which office he held until his death.
He gained national prominence by his efforts to restore friendly relations
between the North and the South.14
Lamar County lies in the center of the Piney Woods, a region in southern
, Mississippi which was once an unbroken expanse of long leaf pine forest.l5
The early settlers of this area came mainly from the eastern seaboard in the
great wave of migration which followed the War of 1812. "About 1820 there was
12. L. H., 1904, 146-147; Code, 1906, sec. 445; Code, 1917, sec. 5865; Code,
Ies'6, soo . 5924.
c 15. L. H., 1954, 510-511.
4 14. `Southern Historical Publication Society, The South in the Building of a
Nation, Richmond, Va., 1909, 12 vols., X11?-Southerh*BiEgraphy, 48-49f-
° see also Edward Mayes, Lucius Q. C. Lamar, His Life, Times, and Speeches,
‘_ Nashville, Tenn., 1896. —- " `—- —_—
I 15. Mississippi State Geological Survey, E. N. Lowe, Director, Bulletin, No.
_· ‘ , 12, Mississippi, Its Geology, Geography, Soils and Mineral Resources,
· e Jackson, Miss., 1915, 52-55. -_—e

 i - 6 -
Hismricai sketch (First Cntry. P- 70)
a large immigration from South Carolina, and the present population consists
principally of descendants of these early scttlers."16 The average homestead
1 was a cabin with but a few scattered acres of cleared land, although around
F 1840 or l8&5 a few plantations had been opened.l7 Corn, potatoes, cotton, and
tobacco were grown principally for home use. The "sale of hogs, cattle, and
sheep was the chief source of income. Most of the livestock was sold to trav-
elling drovers, but occasionally a drive was made to the market at Mobi1e."l8
Among tho early settlers of Marion County, which was subdivided to form
Lamar County were: Ebenezer and John Ford, Benjamin Rawls, D. McLaughlin, F. M.
McGee, S. Foxworth, H. H. Lenoir, William and Sol Lott, F. B. Lenoir, the
Stovalls, John J. Webb, J. McGee, the Popes, Benjamin Hammen, Abram and M.
In 1841 Colonel J. F. H. Claiborne, pioneer Mississippi historian, wrote
of the section:
"...The moment the traveler going eastward crosses
the Pearl River, he will see the marked change in the
water. There are clear creeks and springs in Pike,
Franklin, and Amito, but none that compare with Silver
Creek and White Sand and the thousand rills and rivers
that flow to the south on the eastern side of the Pearl
and mingle their crystal floods with the chafing waters
of the Gulf. The traveler rides into one of these sup-
posing it to be only a few inches deep and soon finds
the water washing his saddle skirts, and the silver-sid-
ed perch playing around his stirrups....The people of
this country, like most of the eastern counties, are in-
dustrious, intelligent, and hospitab1e....Thc drive to
Columbia and hence up or down the river for miles, is
equal to the finest turnpikc, overarched in many places
with long-armed trees. The boat and fishing rod invite
the angler to his sport; and the magnificent pine for-
est, unbroken in its silent depths, undisturbed in its
solitude save by the crack of the hunter's rifle or the
long howl of some treoping wolf at nightfall, is liter-
ally alive with game...." O
The chief economic development in this section began late in the 1870's
when the value of the great pine forests was first realized. "Thousands of
acres of public land passed into private ownership. Some of it was acquired
by residents of the county...but the greater proportion was bought by northern
16. United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Survey of Lamar County,
Mississippi, Washington, 1922, 6. ——
17. United_States Department of Agriculture, Soil Survey gf Pearl River County,
; Mississippi, Washington, 1920, 9.
19. Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi, Gocdspeed Publishing
 ,'1'8’9`1T'2"’wZ-'SIEZ, 1, I§I.""
20. J. F. H. Claiborne, "A Trip through the Piney'Woods," in Publications of
the Mississippi Historical Society, Franklin L. Riley, (ed.}, Cxford,
Miss., 1898-1915, 14 vols., IX, 511-512.

 Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 70)
p eapitalists."2l The lack of capital, of technical skill, of knowledge concern-
. ing the economic opportunities involved took the development of the Piney Woods
from the hands of the original owners.22
The building of railroads in the Long Leaf Pine Belt made markets acces-
sible to the lumber industry. Most of the shipping was done through three
points, Jackson, New Orleans, and Gulfport. The New Orleans and Northeastern,
running from New Orleans to Meridian, was the first to be built. It was char-
tered in Mississippi in 1871,25 but development was suspended. It came under
new management in 1882 and was re-opened in 1885.24 In 1900 the Gulf and Ship
Island Railroad completed a line from Jackson to the harbor of Gulfport. In
1906 a branch line running through Lamar County to Columbia in Marion County
was cempletcd.25 The Mississippi Central Railroad, one of the most important
carriers of lumber from eastern Mississippi, was incorporated by the Missis-
sippi legislature in 1897 as the Pearl and Leaf River Railroad Company, but
in 1905 the name was changed.26 Although as early as 1885 the region was
opened to markets by one railroad, it was not until around 1905 that the com-
pletion of additional railroads made possible the exploitation of the pine
The growth of population, of legal business, and of local government in
Marion County required the establishment of the second judicial district of
Marion County in 1888.27 The expanding lumber industry brought an increase of
population so that it became necessary to create the new county of Lamar in
1904. The population growth in the parent county, Marion, was from 9,552 in
1890, to 15,501 in 1900; by 1910 the combined population of the two counties
was 27,540, having more than doubled in the ten-year period.28 The population
of Lamar County was 11,741 in 1910; in 1920 it was only 12,869.29 By 1950
definite stabilization had been reached; the population was only 12,848, 78.5
percent of which were native white, three-tenths percent foreign-born white,
and 21.2 percent negro.5O The period of greatest population increase, 1900-
1910, coincided with and was due to the phenomenal growth of the lumbering
In the Lamar County area the industrial activity from about 1890 to 1920
21. —United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Survey of Lamar County,
Mississippi, Washington, 1922, 10. l-
22. iE§ort B. Vance, Human Geography of the South, Chapel Hill, N. C., 1955,
127, -—`_——_—_—————_————-—
r 25. L. H., 1871, 160-172.
·~»· 24. `Uunbar Rowland, A History of Mississippi, Heart of the South, Chicago,
` 1927, 2 vols., 11, 559. _— __—-—_
25. Ibid., 561-562; See also the Historical Records Survey, Inventory of the
County Archives of Mississippi, No. 24, Harrison County, "HistorieE1`—-—
Sketch;"—NeT—18;—Forrest County,—Uaekson, Miss., 1958, 5.
26. Rowland, Ep. cit., II, 562.
27. L. M., 188-8, 75-Tvs.
28. Twe1fth Census of the United States, 1900, Population, I, Part I, p.
' xlviig Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910, Population, 1, 112.
29. Ibid., II, Population, Table 1, 1051; Fourteenth Census of the United
States, 1920, Population, III, Table 9, 556.
50. Fifteenth CensEE_Ef—tHE_United States, 1950, Population, III, Part 1,
Table 15, 1284.

 - 8 -
Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 70)
Q was based almost exclusively on this lumber business.31 “Whi1e there was a
§ rapid increase in population and land value greatly increased, farming received
1 oomparatively little attention."5z By 1920, however, the area of standing tim-
? ber in Lamar County was sma11;53 by 1950 most of the pine trees were gone and
the mills closed. As the lumber disappeared, the cut-over lands were used for
v agriculture. Of the several soil types found in the county, the Ruston Fine
Sandy Loam which constitutes 154,720 acres, or 42.5 percent of the total acre-
age, is the most valuable for agricultural purposes. It grows sugar cane, sweet
potatoes, Irish potatoes, corn, soy beans, cotton, rye, oats, cowpeas, lespedeza,
peanuts, watermelons, pecans, Egyptian wheat, unland rice, and garden vegeta-
b1es.54. Truck farming and dairying are becoming wide-spread occupations.
A · The total assessed value of all property in the county as of January 1,
1956, less the assessed value of rural and urban exempt homes is $l,967,56l.55
Of the approximate area of 516,800 acres, 98,571 or 51.1 percent are farm lands
with only 52,755 acres in crop lands. The remaining 218,229 acres are chiefly
cut—over pine lands.56 The chief cash farm crop is cotton; the value of cot-
ton produced in Lamar County in 1956 was $606,609.37 The amount derived from
the sale of corn was $220,822; the income from all other crops was $570,694.
The total amount of the farm income in Lamar County in 1956 was $1,715,085.
A Inasmueh as there were 1,574 farms listed, the average gross income per farm
was $1,284 as compared with a state average of $965.99 per farm. Livestock
and livestock products were worth $516,960.58
¤ The seat of justice of Lamar County is Purvis,59 named for John Purvis, an
early settler in the region. In 1950 its population was 881. Lumberton with a
‘ population of 2,754 and Sumrall with 1,564 are two other chief towns in the
county. Smaller towns and villages are Baxtervillo, Jersey, Richburg, and
‘ Eplcy.4O The county population of 12,848 is predominantly rural, the 1950
census listing 6,659 or 51.67 percent as rural—farm, and 6,209 or 48.55 per-
cent as rural non-farm.41
Three railroads traverse the county, the New Orleans and Northeastern, the
Gulf and Ship Island, and the Mississippi Central. United States Highway ll,
running north and south through Purvis and Lumborton,and State Highways 24,
42, and 15, running east and west, are the chief roads.42
2¤:T_—1HEEEd_States Department of Agriculture, Soil Survey gf Lamar County,
‘ Mississippi,`Washington, 19